Jan. 26, 2013
Haas Pavilion| Berkeley, Calif.
BERKELEY - No. 7/7 California will close out its homestand Sunday afternoon when the Utah Utes visit Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m., and with no TV broadcast, the game will be streamed live on California's Pac-12 Platform at http://pac-12.com/live/calbears.aspx.
California (16-2, 6-1 Pac-12) is coming off a thrilling 59-56 come-back victory against No. 20 Colorado Friday night thta saw the Bears fall behind by 16 points before rallying to take the victory. It was California's fifth win against a ranked opponent this season - setting a new program record in what has been a year of remarkable achievements in head coach Lindsay Gottlieb's second season in Berkeley.
Utah (10-8, 1-6 Pac-12) is in the midst of a brutal stretch themselves and followed their first conference vicotry against Arizona State (66-46) with a 56-44 loss to No. 6 Stanford Friday night. The Utes were forced to play the final 30 minutes without star forward Taryn Wicijowski who went down with an injury on the same knee that required ACL surgery two seasons ago.
Fans can listen to Dave Lewis's live call of the game on CalBears.com's premium All-Access player for a monthly fee.
A CALIFORNIA WIN VS UTAH WOULD:
GAME RECAP: Call it another step in the maturation process for one of the Pac-12's most surprising teams this season. Gennifer Brandon had 13 points, 10 rebounds and a key block with 20 seconds left as Cal rallied from 16 points down in the first half to beat No. 20 Colorado 59-56 on Friday night. The win over Colorado marked Cal's fourth over a ranked team in the last three weeks and fifth overall, a school record.
THE LAST TIME VS UTAH (Jan. 21, 2013): California's 55-50 victory was win No. 600 in program history ... The Bears improve their program-best start to 11-1 on the year ... Afure Jemerigbe finished with 13 points, two shy of her season-high, highlighted by a 10-minute first half stretch where she put in 11 of Cal's 17 points ... Utah's 20 first-half points were a single-half best for Cal and worst for Utah this season.
UTAH (10-8, 1-6 PAC-12): Utah began the season 9-1 but, like California, has run into a top-heavy Pac-12 gauntlet that resulted in just one victory since December 20. Leading the charge for the Utes is junior Michelle Plouffe wh oaverages 16.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. The potential loss of fellow forward Taryn Wicijowski - a game-time decision for Utah - would be a big blow for the Utes with Wicijowski's 14.9p-7.0r needed on the low blocks.
CALIFORNIA-UTAH SERIES HISTORY: California holds a 8-4 series advantage and has won the last six meetings between the two teams. California won the first meeting this season in Salt Lake City by a 55-50 final. Last season, the Bears defeated the Utes 63-56 in Salt Lake City and 60-46 in Berkeley. The Utes last defeated Cal in a 91-60 victory in Salt Lake City on Nov. 26, 1988.
DON'T OVERLOOK GEN: Junior Gennifer Brandon's numbers would hardly be called modest at 12.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. However, given Cal's depth, the forward has averaged just 28 minutes per game. Spread her numbers out over the course of a 40-minute game, and Brandon averages an outstanding 18.3 points and 16.4 rebounds. Backing up that assertion, in her first career 40 minute game Thursday vs USC, Brandon posted 23 points and 26 rebounds.
STICKING TO THE SCRIPT: California has started the same starting lineup of Boyd, Brandon, Caldwell, Clarendon and Jemerigbe in every game this season, making the Bears the only program in the Pac-12 to use the same lineup in every game this season. California joins Oklahoma State, South Carolina and Michigan State as the only teams in the AP or USA Today/Coaches' Top 25 polls to use the same lineup in every game this season.
CAL ON THE BOARDS: Senior Talia Caldwell and junior Gennifer Brandon combine to make the Cal post players possibly the most dominant on the boards in the NCAA as Cal ranks third in the country with a +12.4 rebounding margin. Caldwell is second on the Pac-12 active list 862 rebounds, and Brandon is not far behind at No. 3 on the active list with 848 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,400 rebounds, let alone the 1,710 by these two.
CLARENDON MOVES TO 10th ALL-TIME: Senior Layshia Clarendon surpassed Kesha Martin for 10th on the Cal all-time points list with her 12 against GWU. Clarendon currently sits at 1,492 career points - just 38 shy of ninth in the record books and eight shy of hitting the 1,500 point mark - and is on pace to score 1,623 at the end of the regular season - a mark that would be good for sixth all-time.